What Happens When Your Ad Campaign Is Really A PR Campaign

Young & Rubicam is working with Goldman Sachs to improve the Wall Street firm’s reputation, as it begins to emerge from years of public scrutiny regarding it pay and business practices.
According to The New York Times, Goldman’s “Progress is Everyone’s Business,” campaign is running in national, regional and local newspapers and on various web sites, all of which lead readers to GoldmanSachs.com/Progress.
Here’s some copy from the microsite:

Progress is when a city raises the capital it needs to keep vital projects going. It’s when students and teachers get new classrooms, and local businesses find new ways to grow. Progress is investment in renewable energy that helps protect the environment. In today’s connected world, progress is everyone’s business. At Goldman Sachs, we help make progress happen.

Not everyone’s ready to buy this message, of course. AltTransport writes, “It’s never too late for redemption, especially where a little greenwashing is concerned.”
Linda Kaplan Thaler, chief executive of the Kaplan Thaler Group, also found little reason for the wind turbines in Goldman’s ad campaign. “It just looks like a lot of breast-beating, but doesn’t really get to the heart of: how has this company changed in a way that I can find them trustworthy?” she said.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.